Zoning regulations are rules that determine how parcels of land may be used or developed.
Most property in the Thurston County is assigned one zone, although some properties have "overlay zones." Overlay zones modify the provisions of the base zones for a specific purpose. For example, the McAllister Geologically Sensitive Area District is a single-family residential zone, but it has extra requirements to protect a drinking water aquifer.
Types of Zones
There are more than 60 types of zoning in Thurston County, but they generally fall into these categories:
Thurston County's zoning regulations are found in Title 20 of Thurston County's Code (and, for Urban Growth Areas, Title 21, Title 22 and Title 23). The backbone of the zoning code is Thurston County's Comprehensive Plan, which is basically a master blueprint for land-use in unincorporated Thurston County.
How to Obtain Zoning Information on Your Project
So What Does Your Zoning Designation Mean?
How your property is zoned affects how it can be used and developed. For example, for each type of zone, Thurston County's zoning code spells out how properties within the zone may be used, setback requirements, the maximum density allowed (ie, how many dwellings are allowed per acre), lot sizes, and design standards (height limits, setbacks etc.).
Now that you know how your property is zoned, visit Title 20 of Thurston County code and look up the specific requirements for the zone.
NOTE: If your property is located within a city Urban Growth Area, be sure to check Title 21, Title 22 or Title 23 of the Thurston County Code. Urban growth areas are areas designated by a county, with input from towns and cities, where urban development is to occur. Urban growth areas have their own zoning requirements, which typically mirror the requirements of the neighboring city.
Properties are sometimes rezoned when Thurston County's Comprehensive Plan is amended. To check for proposed rezoning amendments, click here.
Special Use Permits
The zoning code also identifies certain uses that require a higher level of permitting. These take the form of "special use" permits. Click here for a description.
A property owner may apply to have a setback requirement reduced by up to 50% through an "administrative variance." Click here for details.
Thurston County Permit Assistance Center, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW,
Olympia, WA 98502-6045.
Phone: (360) 786-5490. TDD line: (360) 754-2933. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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